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20 Best Restaurants in Clarkston MI

Chosen by a local & self-proclaimed 'foodie'

best restaurants in Clarkston MI - the fed
The Fed restaurant in Clarkston, MI

A quick Google search will show you a hollow list of the best restaurants in Clarkston MI, but sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp just pull together data. Wouldn't you rather take advice from someone who has actually sank their teeth into food at these places?!

My name is Erik and I'm a Real Estate Agent in Clarkston, life-long local and self-proclaimed 'foodie'. Going out to eat and testing new restaurants with friends & family is one of my (many) guilty pleasures. So, I decided to share my version of the top dining spots Clarkston has to offer. Go Wolves!

food·ie / ˈfo͞odē/ a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet. "he is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur"

A Little More Upscale

best restaurants in clarkston
The bar at The Fed restaurant

1. The Fed

Of all the amazing restaurants on this list, The Fed has arguably the best environment and ambiance. The roughness of the restored bank building contrasts beautifully with the rustic boho decor — a perfect setting for enjoying locally sourced American fare and craft cocktails.

Promising review on Facebook:

"I just loved everything! The food was fresh and beautiful, the atmosphere was perfect. Loved every moment of our 5 year wedding anniversary dinner there!" -Rebecca H.

Visit The Fed:

15 S Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 297-5833 | Website

2. 5th Tavern

While I've only been to the new 5th Tavern one time and had a great experience (it recently changed hands from the Andiamo restaurant group), I've been to the 5th Tavern in Bloomfield enough to be confident that this is — and will continue to be — worthy of a place on this list.

Their extensive menu of elevated American fare featuring everything from salads, to pastas, to steaks, burgers and seafood, is always a hit. It's a great place for a casual-upscale lunch or dinner.

Promising review on Google:

"Great service, the staff is kind and attentive! It was busy, and for good reason! The food was exquisite! Fresh and delicious! I finished my meal before I remembered to take a picture for the review! The vibe was great and the crowd a mix of young and older, music was great! Had a wonderful experience!" -Alina D.

Visit 5th Tavern:

7228 N Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 795-2818 | Website

3. Deer Lake Inn

Dining at Kruse & Muer's Deer Lake Inn feels like you're on a relaxing retreat up north. I highly recommend checking out their incredible seafood options, but they also offer a number of other American-style choices like pastas, filets and salads.

Promising review on TripAdvisor:

"What a gem! A cottage-woodsy-lakeside feel with multiple rooms and screened porch areas. The food was delicious, well-prepared, and the service was friendly and attentive." -292lindat292

Visit the Deer Lake Inn:

7504 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 795-2077 | Website

Asian Cuisine

best restaurants in clarkston michigan
Hot Pepper Thai in Clarkston, MI

4. Sagano's Japanese Bistro & Steakhouse

In addition to Sagano's amazing (and fun) Japanese-style hibachi, they offer an extensive and fresh sushi menu. The restaurant actually has two separate sides: the hibachi grill and the sushi saloon. But, you can order and enjoy the best of both!

This Sagano's in Clarkston actually does serve alcohol unlike their Fenton and Flint locations. Score!

Promising review on Google:

"This is probably the best Hibachi place I have been to. The chefs are extremely entertaining. The food is delicious — well seasoned, nice and buttery, and cooked thoroughly and to order." -Amanda D.

Visit Sagano's Japanese Bistro & Steakhouse:

6545 Sashabaw Rd, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 625-6755 | Website

5. Sushi Lover

Sushi tends to be a very polarizing food: you either love it or hate it. Personally, I can't live without and I'm lucky that Sushi Lover is just minutes from home. My favorite rolls are the Angry California and Lobster Tempura. Give them a try!

Promising review on Google:

"Best sushi around for sure, the staff and the owner are great as well. Very polite and food is ready on time and always excellent! I definitely recommend people to try this place, you won't be disappointed!" -Jeremy R.

Visit Sushi Lover:

5903 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 623-2555 | Website

6. Hot Pepper Thai

I'm a huge fan of Thai food in general but Hot Pepper on Sashabaw is one of my absolute favorite places to get carryout. Try the Drunken Noodles and Fried Rice dishes. Your taste buds will thank you!

Promising review on TripAdvisor:

"Every time I go there I'm impressed with the flavor combinations they produce in every dish! They will accommodate low spice up to so hot that you're sweating. Try the hot and sour soup - delish!" -Jennifer C.

7. New York Minute

Many locals haven't heard of New York Minute due to its location on the outskirts of Clarkston and it's a real shame! It's super easy to get to and well worth the few-minute drive down Dixie Highway if you have a hankering for Chinese.

Promising review on Facebook:

"Hands down one of the best Chinese places in the Detroit area. Guy Fieri needs to pay you guys a visit. Thank you, it was fantastic!" -Barbara T.

Visit New York Minute:

9770 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48348

(248) 922-5710 | Website

Breakfast Joints

best clarkston michigan restaurants

8. Mel's Grille

From their fantastic omelettes to their genuine and friendly service, I can't say enough great things about Mel's Grille. It's my go-to breakfast place when I can't bring myself to cook on a Sunday morning after a fun night out.

Promising review on Yelp:

"I love this place. The food is so good. The service is very fast and friendly. They really know what they are doing here ... A great way to start your day." -Louis C.

Visit Mel's Grille:

4545 Pelton Rd, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 673-9655 | Website

9. Royal Diner

A great dining option for all hours of the day (they're open 24/7!) because of their huge menu, but I love the breakfast so much that I order it no matter the time! Royal Diner's American, Greek & Italian eats are also popular lunch and dinner choices.

Promising review on Google:

"Love this place! Super clean. Good food, staff always friendly! Good food for a good price. Highly recommend." -Lynn C

Visit the Royal Diner:

6540 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 620-3333 | Website

Family Dinner or Date Night

clarkston mi restaurants - union bar

10. Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen

The Clarkston Union has such good food that its lobster mac and cheese was featured on Guy Fieri's 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives"!

Just to be clear, it's not a diner, drive-in or a dive at all. It's actually an old church in downtown Clarkston that's been transformed into an eclectic culinary gem.

Promising review on TripAdvisor:

"Do you love cheese boards? Do you love beer? Do you love quality, unique foods? This place may have a simple menu, but it is AWESOME! They specialize in mac and cheese and the lobster option is SO good. Seriously large portions, great atmosphere ... and great service." -daniellemcl

Visit the Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen:

54 S Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 620-6100 | Website

11. Via Bologna

If you're in the mood for quality Italian food, Via Bologna is the place to go in Clarkston. It's in an odd strip mall, but don't let its location away from the hustle and bustle of downtown fool you — they can make a mean pasta dish!

Promising review on Facebook:

"Incredibly fresh, delicious meals at reasonable prices. True Italian Spumoni. Freshly made sauces and pasta. You can’t go wrong: pasta, meat or fish." -Pamela R.

Visit Via Bologna:

7071 Dixie Hwy, Independence Charter Township, MI 48346

(248) 620-8500 | Website

12. Union Woodshop

Situated in a beautiful brick storefront in downtown Clarkston, The Union Woodshop has some of the best barbecue in Oakland County, hands down. You'll love the slow-smoked meats, wood-fired pizzas and craft beer selection.

Don't forget to check out the hipster-esque upstairs bar for some after-dinner cocktails!

Promising review on TripAdvisor:

"Started off with the Brisket Tips. Nothing but lean, tender, smoked goodness. They offer numerous sauces right on the table, to suit your taste. Had the brisket sandwich as my main and it was excellent too. Their meat has a very smokey crust and flavor. A good selection of craft beers as well as the major brands. Really enjoyed the meal and our service was very good too." -Steve J.

Visit the Union Woodshop:

18 S Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 625-5660 | Website

13. Crispelli's Bakery & Pizzeria

While I really didn't want to include any chain restaurants on this list, I've been repeatedly surprised by the quality of the pizza and service that I've gotten at Crispelli's. So, here they are! Kudos.

To be honest, it doesn't really seem like a chain restaurant when you walk in. You probably wouldn't know if you'd never heard of it before!

Promising review on Google:

"Another happy camper here. We shared a thin crust pepperoni & mushroom pizza which was baked perfectly with the right amount of crust crispness yet not over-done, with that perfect light skim of oil over the cheese, the mark of fine pie! Also had the house salad which was pretty good. Service was friendly and attentive so kudos for that. Full bar and carryout also available ... We'll be back!" -Frank Z.

Visit Crispelli's Baker & Pizzeria:

6756 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 403-7200 | Website

Lunch Spots

14. Brioni Cafe & Deli

This quaint little cafe offers absolutely phenomenal deli sandwiches, bakery items & coffee. It's not a huge sit-down restaurant, but they have a handful of small tables which is perfect for the lunch rush. Their reuben is spot on, folks.

Promising review on Yelp:

"My favorite place to stop and treat myself to a fantastic deli sandwich. They offer so much more but I love their spicy roast beef sandwich! The people are awesome and super nice. Can't say enough good things about this deli. Personally so glad it's on my way to and from work." -Sarah E.

Visit Brioni Cafe & Deli:

7151 N Main St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 625-6181 | Website

Pub Fare

Clarkston michigan restaurants - best of
Parker's Hilltop Brewery in Clarkston, MI

15. Mr. B's Roadhouse

As one of the larger restaurants on this list, Mr. B's is great for group gatherings. They have plenty of seating and a substantial menu that can accommodate and satisfy a lot of people.

I always enjoy stopping in with a big group of friends for drinks after soccer or volleyball games. The short rib mac and cheese is muy excelente.

Promising review on Facebook:

"We love this place. Good food and service, they never disappoint. They really do have the best ribs in town too." -Sally S.

Visit Mr. B's Roadhouse:

6761 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 625-4600 | Website

16. Buckshots Bar & Grill

Buckshots is a low-key hangout that's a little off Clarkston's beaten path, but has solid food and a good draft beer list, so locals flock to it ... that's how you know it's good.

It's a woodsy, log-cabin style establishment (as you could probably surmise from the name) for those who are into that sort of thing!

Promising review on Facebook:

"Great food, great beer selection, great atmosphere and great staff." -Scott R.

Visit Buckshots Bar & Grill:

7048 Gateway Park Dr, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 922-7075 | Website

17. Hamlin Pub

Hamlin Pub is one of my favorite places to grab a drink and bit to eat with friends. It has a super chill atmosphere and their pub fare is everything you want when you go to bar.

Promising review on Google:

"Being from out of town, I was excited to eat here. It was DELICIOUS! GET THE STEAK BITES😋 Reuben was delicious, homemade chips as well." -Michelle E.

Visit Hamlin Pub:

6397 Sashabaw Rd, Independence Charter Township, MI 48346

(248) 922-1700 | Website

18. Parker's Hilltop Brewery

Like Mr. B's Roadhouse mentioned above, Parker's Hilltop Brewery is one of the largest restaurants on this list and great for accommodating large groups. The building actually used to be a grungy old wallyball facility that they renovated into a beautiful & rustic sports bar with a touch of class.

You can enjoy their elevated American and pub fare inside or out on their beautiful patio, you know, for a couple months of the year...

Promising review on Facebook:

"It was a gorgeous day to sit on the patio ... pizza & beer were great and our server provided exceptional service." -Michelle Y.

Visit Parker's Hilltop Brewery:

6110 Dixie Hwy, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 383-8444 | Website

Mexican / Latin

Best clarkston restaurants - Honcho

19. Honcho Latin Street Food & Coffee

Honchos is not a typical Mexican restaurant. In fact, it's not really Mexican at all. It serves dishes inspired by Latin American street food with a Korean twist. I love it's eccentric, almost hipster vibe, and the food is just as unique.

Apparently they have incredible coffee, as well. I don't drink the stuff, so who knows!

Promising review on Google:

"Fantastic food and atmosphere! I love the special touches in the dining room. An absolute must are the donuts. They're to die for!" -Anessa K.

Visit Honcho:

3 E Church St, Village of Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 707-3793 | Website

20. Jalapeño's

If you're looking for more traditional Mexican food, Jalapeños is definitely the place to go in Clarkston. Its location away from downtown makes it easy to have a casual evening without worrying about parking. Plus, margaritas! *Cue the maracas*

Promising review on Google:

"Wait staff was very impressive. They were fast despite how busy they were. Also food was great! The tacos tasted very authentic and were very filling (and reasonably priced for what you get). Wife is already talking about wanting to go there again soon." -Zachary M.

Visit Jalapeño's:

7743 Sashabaw Rd, Village of Clarkston, MI 48348

(248) 241-6394 | Website

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